We are seeking one or two additional papers for our panel on Voluntary Transnational Food Aid and the Emergence of Global Civil Society which has been accepted for the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History: Encounters, Circulations and Conflicts, Paris, 4-7 September 2014.
The concept civil society has had a renaissance in the past two decades, accompanied by an increasing notion that its outreach is global. However, as yet global civil society remains an abstraction that is not rooted in abundant empirical work on transnational practices. This panel seeks to enhance the understanding of global civil society by exploring one of its strands – transnational food aid. In contrast to present discussions that often treat the amalgamation of globalization, civil society and philanthropy as a contemporary phenomenon, this panel brings together case studies from the last two centuries, thus exploring voluntary transnational engagement in a long-term perspective.
Issues to be addressed by the papers should include some of the following: civil society networking, cosmopolitanism and the emergence of an embryonic transnational public sphere, the distinction between advocacy and service as well as that of donor and recipient agendas, altruist vs. instrumental driving forces, social background (e.g. the significance of religion, migrant activism, metropolitan life-style, sex, class) as well as gendered roles in relief work, fundraising strategies, the need of tackling transparency and accountability, efficiency, institutional adaptation to political precepts, the relation of civil society and state or empire (including the use of civil society for non-civic purposes and that of the state for vested interests), and the relation of civil society and business. Departing from aspects of such an analytical matrix the papers are supposed to furnish nuanced case-sensitive answers to the question what configurations were at work and contribute to answering the joint question how global civil society developed over two centuries.
Consequently, the panel is designed to contribute to an improved integration of empirical insights and theoretical generalizations and the presenters are asked to discuss their specific findings within a broader framework of transnational civil society.
Please send an abstract and a short CV to: Norbert Götz (Södertörn University, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Steffen Werther (Södertörn University, email@example.com).
Deadline: October 31, 2013.
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